HC Deb 01 May 1947 vol 436 cc2165-6
57. Mr. Lipson

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if postwar credits will be paid to dependants of deceased persons who were 65 years of age or over at the time of their death.

Mr. Glenvil Hall

No, Sir, except where the beneficiaries are themselves over the age of 65, if men, and 60, if women

Mr. Lipson

Is it quite fair for the Treasury to take advantage of the fact that these persons have died, because, had they been alive, they would have had it, and their dependants would have benefited?

Mr. Glenvil Hall

It was made quite clear by my right hon. Friend when this concession was made, and when this section of the community came before the House, that it was being made in order to give old people a chance to enjoy the money before they died.

Lieut.-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore

Should it not be regarded as part of the estate of the deceased persons who may wish to pass it on to someone dependent on them?

Mr. Glenvil Hall

It is so regarded; it goes into the estate of the person who dies, and is passed on to the beneficiary.

Mr. Leslie Hale

Is not the Financial Secretary wrong in the short statement he has made, and is not the position that, if the right has accrued before death, it passes to the beneficiary under the will?

Mr. Glenvil Hall

The position is that, although the right might have accrued, unless the money has actually been paid over before death, it falls to whomsoever benefits under the will, and will go to that person as and when that person is reached at the time of the general distribution of postwar credits.

Mr. Lipson

In view of the fact that there is not a great deal of money involved, will the right hon. Gentleman look at this matter again?

Mr. S. Silverman

Is my right hon. Friend aware that most people will agree with him in the attitude he has taken up, and would regard it as highly inequitable that people of 20 or 30 years of age should enjoy spending postwar credits when people of 50and 60 years of age cannot do so?

Sir Hugh Lucas-Tooth

If the dependant is over 65 years of age—

Mr. Speaker

I think that we have discussed this matter long enough.